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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a question regarding a house I am renting. It is a

Customer Question

I have a question regarding a house I am renting. It is a large house - however when I have moved in I discovered it was split into two dwellings and the landlord and landlady periodically stay in the other part without letting me know. This was not made clear at the time of the viewing - I was viewing a detached house - the letting agent never mentioned anything about a separate part and the landlord and landlady staying there. I have contacted the landlady but she said the letting agent should have told me and they are saying they were also unaware that it was not being rented as a detached house. So I am paying all of the council tax and gas and electric (only one meter for each) and they are happily sitting there right now with heating and lights on. The landlady states they have their own meter but the electricity company have confirmed there is only one meter for gas and one for electric. Pleas can you help
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with thisl
Alex Watts : I assume you want a separate meter? Have you spoken to the power company please?
JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

I think the more concerning thing is the landlord/landlady living in part of the house and I had no prior knowledge of this when I rented it. I am paying £2000 a month to live in what I thought was a detached house. Yes I have contacted the power company and they have suggested that I arrange for a service engineer to visit. The landlady does not want a separate meter and I have no access to that part of the house for when the service engineer visits.

Alex Watts : Is it connected IE by door?
JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

No they have blocked it off with plasterboard

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

It is such a huge house it wasn't apparent on the first viewing and the estate agent cancelled two second viewings due to staff sickness. I had sold my house so needed to find somewhere else so in the end I had to rent it without the second viewing.

Alex Watts :

Ok, what is it you want to achieve?

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

Where do I stand legally - is this usual as it seems a completely bizarre situation to me.

Alex Watts :

Legally in terms of energy supply or tenancy?

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

Both really - no idea I wasn't renting a detached house and paying for their energy!

Alex Watts :

Well energy there MUST be two meters. you can't be expected to pay for someone else's energy

Alex Watts :

As for the property that is a tricky one

Alex Watts :

You could have looked at the property in detail. You had one viewing.

Alex Watts :

I think the fact they live 'next door' makes no difference.

Alex Watts :

As long as they do not have access to your property, ie by interconnecting door its difficult to get out of the tenancy.

Alex Watts :

You had one viewing.

Alex Watts :

You were going to have a second one and could have insisted on this before you signed.

Alex Watts :

But as you signed and you have been given the property described, whilst I think there is an energy claim I dont think you have one for the tenancy

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

Ok but the landlady is saying she doesn't want another meter and that she will work out how much she is using and let me know! They do have access to my property as they have a key and are part of the same house. The estate agent via the landlady gave me an ultimatum to move in in a time frame or lost the property and I had sold my house and needed to move out - I also have a family to consider and couldn't risk being homeless. I tried on 2 occasions to view again and both appointments were cancelled. In the contract it says that the landlord needs to give notice to come around to the property etc - not that they would be living in it! I guess from your advice I will have to sit out the 12 month tenancy and move but it was described as a detached house not a semi detached house!

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

*lose the property

Alex Watts :

Sadly yes.

Alex Watts :

The energy point I think there is a claim

Alex Watts :

The property I think there is not a claim

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

No that is fine so it looks as though you can rent a detached house and then the landlord/landlady can move in and there is nothing the tenant can do. I will take further legal advice on this because it is unacceptable - you can't rent a house out then decide to move back in.

JACUSTOMER-g5tp5x36- :

I am paying rent for a detached house not a semi detached house.

Alex Watts :

You have rated BAD SERVICE?

Alex Watts :

The house is only linked.

Alex Watts :

The house is not two as such

Alex Watts :

You had an opportunity to inspect.

Alex Watts :

If the agreement specifically says it is detached then you have a claim

Alex Watts :

If it does NOT say it is detached then sadly again there is no claim

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

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